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This page outlines my current research and development activity.

Uplifting Leadership

Andy Hargreaves, Alan Boyle & Alma Harris

What does it take to do more with less? How can you do better than before, or better than others? How do you turn losses into wins, or near-bankruptcy into strong profitability, or abject failure into stellar success?

The power of uplift enables any organization to do more with less, beat the competition, and perform better than ever. Leaders who uplift their employees' passions, intellects, and commitments produce remarkable results.

Based on original research from a seven-year global study, Uplifting Leadership reveals how leaders from diverse organizations inspired and uplifted their teams' performance. Distilling the six common characteristics of leaders at high-performing organizations across business, sports, and education, authors Andy Hargreaves, Alan Boyle, and Alma Harris explore the nature of uplift, its impact on performance, and the ways to achieve it within and beyond an organization's walls, revealing how leaders:

  • Identify and articulate an inspiring dream that is coherently connected to the best of what the organization has been before
  • Pursue that dream at a sustainable pace without squandering resources, incurring excessive debt, or burning people out
  • Forge paths of innovation and improvement that others have overlooked or rejected
  • Monitor progress by using metrics and indicators in a mindful and meaningful way
  • Build teams that naturally pull people into change rather than pushing them through it

Featuring case studies of organizations as diverse as Shoebuy.com, Fiat, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Marks & Spencer, Cricket Australia, Burnley Football Club, and the Vancouver Giants, as well as world-leading educational systems, Uplifting Leadership provides tools for leaders to incorporate these performance-driving strategies into their own.

For leaders who want their people to try harder, transform what they do, reach for a higher purpose, and stay resolute and resilient when opposing forces threaten to defeat them, Uplifting Leadership provides a path to better performance across any organization. Featuring case studies of organizations as diverse as Shoebuy.com, Fiat, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Marks & Spencer, Cricket Australia, Burnley Football Club, and the Vancouver Giants, as well as world-leading educational systems, Uplifting Leadership provides tools for leaders to incorporate these performance-driving strategies into their own.

For leaders who want their people to try harder, transform what they do, reach for a higher purpose, and stay resolute and resilient when opposing forces threaten to defeat them, Uplifting Leadership provides a path to better performance across any organization.

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Distributed Leadership Matters

Alma Harris

"Certainly one of the most eminent scholars in the area of distributed leadership in schools, Alma Harris argues persuasively in her book that distributed leadership, in the form of collective expertise, carefully constructed through professional collaboration, can positively influence learning and teaching in schools.  Drawing upon research findings and carefully written so that readers can follow her arguments systematically, this book is a valuable resource to readers hoping to find a reliable guide to link theories in distributed leadership to practices in schools."

Dr. Pak Tee Ng, Associate Dean
National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Republic of Singapore

"Distributed Leadership signifies the cutting-edge development in the Theory Movement in understanding educational leadership, whereas 'professional learning community' is the most recent strand in understanding educational organizations. The book has successfully blended both concepts together and implied that they are the sides of a coin. Most theorists will make use of the full length of a book to delineate about positive and bright sides of theories. It is this book which also expounds on the negative and dark sides of distributed leadership. It is this approach, as in Chinese philosophy, that we call it "Yin and Yang". The bright and dark sides are actually complementary, not opposing, forces, interacting to form a whole greater than either separate part; in effect, a dynamic system. The book is a must for most academics, researchers, policy makers, school practitioners and students of educational leadership, organizational study and school improvement."

Nicholas Sun-Keung Pang, Professor and Chairman
Department of Educational Administration and Policy, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

"Alma Harris is a world leading writer on the thinking and practice of distributed leadership. This is undoubtedly the best book that she or anyone has yet written on the subject. Harris's view that distributed leadership is disciplined and collaborative counters critics who complain about the fuzziness of the idea. If you want a book that gives you an authoritative and accessible grounding, that sets out a strategy and a methodology, and that alerts you to the dark arts of distributed leadership as well as its payoffs when it is properly done, this is absolutely the book for you."

Andy Hargreaves, Brennan Chair in Education
Boston College

"Distributed Leadership Matters is an outstanding contribution to the literature on real and enduring school improvement!  The writing sparkles with inspirational examples of real-world leadership transformations that have benefitted staff and students alike. The research base is capacious and demonstrates the author's encyclopedic knowledge of school improvement and effectiveness from all around the world.  Especially welcome is the crucial acknowledgement that distributed leadership can be abused and problematic if implemented in rushed mandates, autocratic rule, or mindless compliance. Here is a volume that will help us all to raise achievement with dignity. Here is a book that every educator can use to rally reluctant faculty, to focus on the instructional core, and to lift achievement. Distributed Leadership Matters is indispensable reading for every educator!"

Dennis Shirley, Professor of Education
Lynch School of Education, Boston College


Prof Andy Hargreaves

Prof Alma Harris

"Alma Harris captures the essential challenges facing today's school and district leaders and summarizes, in precise and accessible language, important research-based lessons for practice. Her focus on building authentic relationships among all staff that will increase school effectiveness is both practical and a welcome antidote to an excessive focus on testing and standardization."

Karen Seashore, University of Minnesota

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